The National Human Rights Commission of India has asked the federal government to give five lakh rupees as compensation to the family of Felani Khatun – the Bangladeshi teenage girl killed at the border in BSF firing four years ago.
Yesterday, the federal government of India was asked to hand over the money to the family through the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh.
Kurigram district Public Prosecutor (PP) Abraham Lincoln, who has been giving Felani’s family legal support, said: “This [the order] primarily establishes one truth that Felani is a victim of killing by the Indian BSF. From that point of view, they [Indian NHRC] have given the order for monetary compensation for covering the loss.”
The PP also said that this order order would be helpful in moving the case of Felani in the Indian Supreme Court.
Felani’s father Nurul Islam said: “Money cannot serve justice. Money will not bring back my daughter. So, I want justice for my daughter’s murder. It is true that I demand compensation, but justice has to be served first. I demand punishment for the self-proclaimed killer Amiya Ghosh.”
Fourteen-year-old Felani Khatun was killed on January 7, 2011 at the Anantapur border when she and her father were coming to Bangladesh from Asam of India.
On July 3 this year, a second makeshift BSF court acquitted its constable Amiya Ghosh, the accused killer. He was acquitted once before in September 2013 by another BSF court that delivered the verdict after internal investigation and trial.
Nurul Islam had testified as witness during both the trials, but both courts said the evidence against the self-confessed killer was “inconclusive and insufficient.”
BSF arranged the second trial following a huge outcry by media and rights groups against the acquittal in the maiden border killing lawsuit.
However, on August 14, the matter took a new turn after the Indian Supreme Court accepted a plea for independent reinvestigation into the case; the plea was filed jointly by Nurul Islam and Indian rights group Manabadhikar Surakkha Mancha (MASUM).
Saying that Felani’s family had been denied justice, the plea sought reinvestigation by CBI or any other neutral probe agency. Nurul and MASUM also sought compensation for the family.